you are on camera
Dhaka newspaper reported last week that a joint command of law-enforcing
agencies waited for ninety minutes or so before they went for
a crackdown on criminals in the Old City. Why? Because the television
crew had not arrived any earlier! (Lalbaghe Santrashi Dhawra:
Television camerar jonyo poolishi ovijaaner apekkha; Prothom
Alo, 17 April 2004) What's 90 minutes when its show time?
Ask any of our film and TV stars. Go on then, you can now even
ask a policeman.
reporter also quite unnecessarily narrated how one of the members
of the joint force was busy combing his hair before a mirror
in anticipation of the shooting; not to be confused with the
one that makes noise and hurts. Just because he is a policeman
does not mean that he cannot have a comb or a smooth front-to-back
motion of the hand. Had he been bald that would have been amusing
and perhaps news worthy, but in the serious business of the
bahini there is no room for jokes.
best Yours Truly is flabbergasted at the very angle of the news.
When will our reporters get their priorities right? It is now
33 years. If anything in that absolutely routine incident, the
news should have actually focussed on the intolerable delay
of the TV channel and their impudence, call it insolence, in
keeping the huzoors waiting; all dressed up for that
matter. One wonders how many heads the owner of the private
channel has on his shoulder. Has he so easily forgotten the
fate of another?
Let us not
forget that this fast progressing nation now has more than one
private channel. The state has one private channel. At news
time they all look like the state's private channel. And in
keeping with the freedom of speech, there are some more in the
wide pipeline, meaning they should be on air with ease within
a very short while.
that should have been done against the management of the non-appearing
TV channels is that they all should have been show-caused as
to why a charge of non-cooperation with the state's anti-terrorism
venture should not be brought against them. That's a pretty,
meaning ugly, serious allegation with punishment ranging from
delayed bail to US sanctions.
nothing wrong with law-enforces being shown on telly. Especially
now since they all have new uniforms. It's making the other
uniformed services GREEN with envy. One has to understand that
the police need to beam the image to their kith and kin back
home, or else come the next time they visit their relatives,
they may be unrecognisable after having shed their blues. For
all you know they may even be beaten up for mistaken identity.
It hurts more if you are beaten up while a policemen.
the fabric and the design of their new getup are not only eye-catching,
but it is clear that a lot of research and time; don't forget
the money, has gone into them. But, finally we have something
that is the product of detailed discussion and analyses. The
green tops should help them to blend into the rural greenery
when they want to camouflage against terrorist attacks, more
so if they shed their blue bottoms. Who will notice in the jungle,
In the city
they can take off their badges and pretend going to a wedding.
In fact, a good number of policemen are not even wearing the
uniform, as per newspaper and TV reports and pictures. They
only look distinguished because they are carrying overweight
arms. Reporters are polite in mentioning them as plainclothes
policemen but in reality it could be that their only set of
the new uniform has gone to the laundry.
has also established that the other uniform of another force
that sports kat-kyata blue and yellow flowers shall
be very useful in nabbing a lawbreaker. The assumption is that
on seeing someone attired in such frock-like pattern one would
almost die of laughing, criminal or not. Not a shot fired; no
chance of death in police custody; the offender behind bars;
things could not have been better.
things do not look that rosy elsewhere. BNP legislators have
requested the Finance Minister "to suspend Annual Development
Programme (ADP) allocations for the areas where local parliamentarians
failed to improve law and order". (Cut crime, essentials'
prices to get re-elected; BNP lawmakers ask Saifur in pre-budget
talks; The Daily Star, 18 April 2004).
masterpiece of a proposal has the potentiality to make us "feel
good" (thanks to Unmoving Bihari Vajpayee) for the lack
of development. The good news is that henceforth there shall
be a valid reason not to send any funds to any area. The Bangladesh
Bank goodam is sure to remain full what with terrorism Bangladesh-versal
as never before. Prices are also likely to fall as the demand
and supply curve is certain to become favourable.
was also some fuss raised kha-ma-kha in the media about
delayed succour to the tornado affected villages of Haluaghat
and Netrakona, hit on 14 April. (Tornado biddhasto elakaye
ek chattak chaal-o poucheni, chikitsha-o nei; Prothom Alo,
18 April 2004) (Schoolchildren beg in twister-torn Netrakona
- Largely without food and water for five straight days after
Wednesday's twin tornadoes in two northern districts, schoolchildren
begged yesterday while most affected families continued to camp
out...; The Daily Star, 19 April 2004) Arrey Bhai! One has to
first take stock of whether terrorism prevails in that area,
whether law and order has improved, whether the TV crews have
set up camp, so on and so forth. You cannot just send food to
anyone at any place. There is a system in place.
there is no business like relief business, and taking cue from
history which has records of scores of ministers waiting and
then smiling for the TV crew and camera before distributing
khichuri during flood, there will probably be no shortage
of showmanship even this time.
problem is the media makes such hype when law-enforcers pose
on camera; when it is a minister involved there is not even
a too shabdo. Somehow you get the impression that the
media is more scared of... (power failure)